What Causes a Lump on Back of Neck & What to Do About It?

What will be your first reaction when you find a lump on the back of your neck? You probably think this is due to the possibility of malignancy.

A lump on back of neck is not necessarily a sign of cancer. It is normal to have it.

But there is a possibility that malignant lumps always exist. The benefits of locating them in time are more acceptable than the risks of avoiding them.

Read on to know what can cause a lump at the back of the neck. Also, get to learn how you can get rid of this condition to live a bit more stress-free.

What Are Neck Lumps Exactly?

Lump on Back of Neck

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

Lumps on the back of neck are too common nowadays. The inclination to locate a lump can often cause worry that it might be due to cancer. Luckily, most neck lumps are non-cancerous, especially in kids and young adults.

They are soft and go on their own or come and go. If the lumps are tender or red, it might be an infection behind them. You may require antibiotics to cure them. 

The most unpleasant neck lumps are rough, thick, or craggy. They slowly grow over a few weeks.

You need not visit your doctor for any lump on back of neck that fades away or disappears after a certain period. But if you experience any of the following symptoms, in addition to the neck lump, then do see the doctor:

  • Losing weight without intention.
  • Voice changes or a hoarse voice for more than three weeks.
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • A never-ending feeling of drowsiness.
  • Bruises that you cannot clarify

Wondering “Why Do I Have A Lump On My Neck”? Here Are The Causes!

Lump on Back of Neck

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Neck lumps are relatively easy to find if the patient observes them constantly. Here are the six primary causes that can make them appear:

1. Injuries, Muscle Strain, Or Other Active Traumas

Several people mistake lumps for swelling and rashes. But they can happen whenever the neck, head, or shoulders get a severe injury. The science behind this is the body begins to accommodate the flow of white blood cells and other essential nutrients to the damaged site. As a result, the affected part can often develop small lumps.

Such lumps usually go away after you get the treatment for the underlying condition. Though, some patients may still perceive irritation for a few days. 

To ease the pain, you can consider using topical creams, over-the-counter drugs, and natural home solutions like cold and hot cold therapy can help oversee these signs.

2. Sebaceous Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are the kind of skin disease that can result in neck lumps. You can find them all around your torso, neck, and face if you have this skin disease. 

Such lumps often occur due to genetics, environmental factors, and poor skincare routine. 

They are generally harmless and can disappear on their own. But if such lumps start making it difficult for you to breathe and swallow food, you may opt for therapeutic or preventive treatments. 

3. Swollen Lymph Nodes

The cervical lymph nodes exist at the back of the neck and on the sides of the throat. These nodes naturally remain small and flexible. But they can get swollen to triple size once your body gets infected. 

The primary reason for swollen lymph nodes is bacteria or viruses. But your doctor may ask for a sample of lymph fluid to know the exact cause. 

Symptoms that can appear alongside swollen lymph nodes include tenderness, fever, night sweats, and a thick lump.

In rare cases, early stage swollen lymph nodes may turn into neck cancer. Cancerous lymph nodes are not tender and are 1cm in size. They may feel rubbery when you touch them. You can consider getting surgery to get rid of them.

4. Boils

Acne, cysts, and blocked hair follicles can cause infections known as boils. They may get worse when you squeeze them and peel them off. Instead, you can apply warm compresses and keep the affected area clean.

If you develop a fever or the boil gets painful, you should see a doctor at the right time. The doctor may ripple the spot and prescribe antibiotics.

5. Moles 

Usually, moles appear during the childhood period. But new moles still can form at any time. If the lump is perceived to be bulgy and is on the skin instead of the muscle, it might be a mole.

Moles are usually not an issue of concern, but some moles can show up to be cancerous. You can place a mirror to observe the mole or ask somebody else to examine it. You can assess for signs of skin cancer by yourself. The following way could be effective:

  • A: asymmetrical mole
  • B: irregular or uneven border
  • C: rare color or odd stains, such as red and blue
  • D: its size is greater than 6 millimeters or equal to the length of a pencil eraser
  • E: evolve and change with time

If you are unsure about the cause of moles and concerned about the existence of severe complications, schedule a mole check with a dermatologist right away. It can help you clear your doubts and ensure that they are healthy.

6. Muscle Knots

Wounded or tensed muscles can develop muscle knots. These are tight bands of muscle tissues and may look like a pea or large like a baseball. In maximum cases, they are noticeable underneath the skin surface and will not result in a bump or lump above the skin.

Your neck is a common area for tension and muscle pain. They can occur after a continuous period of crouching over a desk and staring at a computer. 

Such knots can unsettle the muscles that join the head to your neck at the hairline. Muscle knots do not reflect a severe health issue. 

Gentle massages, neck stretches, and periodic breaks can benefit muscle knots. A good and adequate posture can also be helpful and may prevent muscle knots from cropping up.

How To Treat Lump On Back Of Neck?

Lump on Back of Neck

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

Treatment of neck lumps depends entirely on the cause occurring. Reactive swellings on the back of the neck do not require any remedy as they settle when the problem causing them gets settled. 

However, in a few cases, the condition might need treatment. For instance, an ear infection might get well with ear drops or antibiotics.

Likewise, an underactive thyroid gland would get cured with thyroid hormone replacement. 

Some lumps need surgery to get cured, for instance, skin tumors or lipomas. 

Chemotherapy is generally the best treatment for treating blood-related cancers such as leukemias or lymphomas. As per the underlying cause, your doctor will advise whatever treatment is best for you.

When Do You Need To See a Doctor?

Lump on Back of Neck

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Primarily, lumps on the back of neck are nothing to worry about. They will go away after a few home remedies and sufficient bed rest. Yet, your tension may prompt you to prick them and try peeling off on their own. Doing so can raise the possibility of infection and other difficulties.

But, this does not imply that the lumps on the back of your neck cannot be hints of cancer. Any swelling that suddenly occurs and remains at the back of the neck should constantly be reviewed by your doctor. It will help to find out any significant problems like thyroid cancer

Also Read: Lump Behind Ear: Possible Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Probably Complications Or Symptoms

Lump on Back of Neck

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Chronic infections can cause lymph nodes to enlarge, which you should not ignore. These infections may occur suddenly with the alarming signs of more severe difficulties, such as:

  • Sore throat
  • Night sweats
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Congested nasal cavity
  • Weakness and muscle spasms
  • Tender tissues

If you get any of the above symptoms, inform your doctor in time. It can give you a better outlook of the whole situation and save you time.

The Final Words

The condition such as lumps on the back of the neck can appear to anyone. There are not always symptoms of a severe health problem. Yet, it is necessary to see a doctor if you find a neck lump.

Likewise, get a proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible if a neck lump turns out to be serious.

We hope you find an adequate answer to your question- why do I have a lump on the back of my neck. If you still have doubts, ask us in the comments below.

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